Seth’s Blog: What every mass marketer needs to learn from Groucho Marx
by Scott Smith
The Marx Brothers were great at vaudeville. Live comedy in a theatre. And then the market for vaudeville was killed by the movies. Groucho didn’t complain about this or argue that people should respect the hard work he and his brothers had put in. No, they went into the movies.
Then the market for movies like the Marx Brothers were making dried up. Groucho didn’t start trying to fix the market. Instead, he saw a new medium and went there. His TV work was among his best (and certainly most lucrative).
It’s extremely difficult to repair the market.
This made me think of how broke tech docs written for a developer or SysAdmin were, and then the Head First books came along (more like rescued us from the White Paper style most tech books use).
While Seth wrote about markets, I think the same applies to methods. Head First engages the brain while the documentation written at my employer puts you to sleep. Even docs on process — docs with no connection to IT — seem written to say you’ve written about the new management screen and its options. And not written to help the reader understand what to do with the changes or how the changes affect her job.